Solheim Cup 2015: Europe ‘underdogs’ vs U.S.
The women’s equivalent of the Ryder Cup starts today in Germany with Europe chasing a record third successive win.
Ten of America’s 12 players are in the world’s top 40 while Europe have three. Scotland’s Matthew said: “They are favourites. They pretty much every year go in as the bookmakers’ favourites.”
The 46-year-old added: “We just try to enjoy it. Obviously you enjoy it more if you win but we’ve been lucky in the last couple, we just need to go out there and give it our best.”
However, America’s Angela Stanford, who is ranked 35 in the world, countered: “I wouldn’t consider Europe underdogs. I don’t think any team that hasn’t held the trophy the last two times could be the favourites.”
For the first time, Europe will have no rookies in their side and nine of the 12 players who helped Europe win a first Solheim Cup on American soil are retained for this weekend’s event at St Leon-Rot, near Heidelberg.
England’s Melissa Reid and Sandra Gal of Germany, who were on the victorious 2011 team, are joined by France’s Gwladys Nocera, who has made three appearances.
“I think that will definitely help us,” captain Carin Koch told BBC Sport. “They remember that great feeling of winning.” America have kept faith with 11 of the team that was comprehensively beaten 18-10 in Colorado in 2013.
That means America’s Alison Lee is the sole debutant in this year’s event.
In the Europe team are Carlota Ciganda, Sandra Gal, Caroline Hedwall, Charley Hull, Karine Icher, Caroline Masson, Catriona Matthew, Azahara Munoz, Gwladys Nocera, Anna Nordqvist, Suzann Pettersen and Melissa Reid.
Playing for the United States are Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lang, Alison Lee, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Gerina Piller, Morgan Pressel, Lizette Salas, Angela Stanford, Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie.